One day, about five and a half years ago, I was feeling a bit…off. Queasy, tired, with just a hint of stupid. This particular recipe for me spells “Kira is knocked up.” I scurried out to the store for a pregnancy test, anointed it properly, and discovered that Raphael was on his way. I called my friend Heather and told her, to which she replied, “Huh. Weird. I was just wondering if I was pregnant. I was going to wait…but now I have to know.” And off she went.
And she found out that Iona was on her way.
She was born twelve days after Raphael, and they have had a rocky relationship at times. She was often the target of Raphael’s flurry of hitting, during his flurry of hitting days. Lord, those were long days. And after that era, he was deeply puzzled by her inherent girliness, and just didn’t know what to do with her.
But they seem to have weathered those storms, and have come out on the other side. Iona was the flower girl in our wedding, and if you think REALLY REALLY nice thoughts, I just might let you see a picture of the two of them at the reception.Ever since the wedding Raphael has been convinced that he was going to marry her.
“Honey,” I tell him, “you’re a bit young to pick someone to marry.”
“I KNOW,” he sighs back, “I’m not marrying her YET. When I get BIG.”
“Because,” he shakes his head at my obtuseness, “she is friendly to me.”
And indeed she is. The other day they were playing together on a playground. When it was time to go, Raphi trotted over to me and announced he had a secret to tell me. I leaned down and he cupped one sticky hand around my ear and whispered,
"I love Iona for reals."
“Oh, you do?”
He nodded hard, then breathed in my ear,
“We kissed. Each other.”
“You did? You’re too young to be kissing girls, sweetie.” He shook his head.
“No, it’s ok. WE HID.”
Ah. Time for sex ed 101: even if no one saw you do it, it still happened.
We went home, and the boys settled in to watch their favorite TV show. The little girl from next door came over to play with Raphael, but since he was so enthralled with Cyber Chase, she sat down next to him and tried to get his attention by writing him notes.
“I love bogs,” she wrote [meaning dogs. She loves dogs. Not swampy areas]. She handed Raphi the note. He nodded at it. “I like you,” she wrote. Distracted nod. “Rit I like you,” she wrote [it was a request, “write, I like you”]. He ignored her. She sighed and tried again, “You are a rokc str.” [“You are a rock star.”]
Still no response.
Poor girl. I could have told her it was no use.